Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Giving birth for the second time and why I am terrified

Even though my first pregnancy was healthy, my birth didn’t go as planned, on the contrary, it ended with emergency c-section. Something very common these days. I wasn’t in my home country, but I gave birth in the UK where I lived for 5 years, so it wasn’t that I felt out of place. Weirdly, this time around I am going to be giving birth in my home country and instead of being relaxed because I am at home, I am more nervous than ever. How is that possible?

Naturally, the not so good experience from the first delivery has left a trace and I can’t forget the long and painful hours of labour, which wasn’t progressing and then the long healing process after the emergency c-section. In the end, everything was worth it with Alex being born safe and sound but now I can’t help feeling very anxious. Another reason for that is the controversial state of the health system in my country. Compared to how advanced the system in the UK is, in some aspects ours is very old and outdated.

Private hospitals here are very popular because the public health system struggles financially and it is a general belief that if families want to have their babies in good conditions, if they want to have their wishes respected and if they want to be taken good care of, they have to go private and pay. The truth is somewhere in the middle but the question lays down: what if you can’t afford to pay for private hospital? Are you going to feel like you are neglecting your and your baby’s health. Isn’t having a baby a human’s right and shouldn’t the care provided in hospitals be the same everywhere?

Another thing that worries me is the attitude towards c-section and natural delivery in my country. Numbers show that extremely common for hospitals in Bulgaria is to perform more C-sections than natural deliveries. There is always a medical reason for that, but many think that it’s a common practice. It’s been very important for me to discuss a birth plan because 4 years after a c-section I have a chance to try a natural birth, but in the public hospital they wouldn’t “‘waste time‘ on it, so basically I have to go private if I want to do natural and still there is no guarantee.

It really strikes me and saddens me that in 21st century having a choice is a is a luxury, water birth is a luxury, having a vbasc is a luxury. The majority of hospitals in my country are old and in poor condition, don’t get me wrong there is equipment etc, but neo antenatal care? One hospital offers the best, the rest … if something happens the baby should be transported there. That is worrying.

In order to understand the system better and know what to realistically expect from my experience, I decided to visit as many open days in different hospitals here as possible, both public and private. My next posts will be about what I have learned from the open days and how I am mentally preparing myself for the big day.


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